“It means the world, the galaxy, to me” — Mollypenny, CHEO’s beloved therapeutic clown since 2001, retires


While Mollypenny says she’s heading to Galaxy Sprinkle this Halloween, her friends at CHEO say no one can fill her big soft shoes.

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But who is going to offer up « es maroons » who turn out to be scraps of felt and chair « bored » meetings to bring smiles to sick children and their families – sometimes through tears?

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Mollypenny is retiring this fall after more than two decades as a CHEO therapy clown, the hospital announced Thursday.

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Fans big and small can say goodbye at an event on Saturday.

« It’s time, » Mollypenny, aka Ruth Cull, said with characteristic whimsy in a hospital statement, « to board the MollyPop spaceship and journey into the future. »

She said she would bring everything she learned from young patients and their families to the stars.

« I am grateful for their gifts of knowledge and laughter, » she said. “It means the world, the galaxy, to me.

“I am also extremely grateful to the team here! They helped me have fun, play, fool around and more because I was able to form meaningful relationships with the kids, which is really all about it! »

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While Mollypenny says she’s heading to Galaxy Sprinkle this Halloween, her friends at CHEO say no one can fill her big soft shoes.

« We are extremely grateful for all that Mollypenny has done for the children, youth and families at CHEO – sometimes in their darkest times – always supporting the children and, surprisingly, almost always being able to smile again, » said President and CEO Alex Munter. .

« To put it mildly, but she will be missed. She is a star. And she belongs with all the other stars in her new home galaxy.

Mollypenny will be the guest of honor in the Construction Community Cares motorcade of trucks, shovels and other vehicles starting at 10 a.m. Saturday – watch for her in a red convertible Volkswagen Beetle on the last truck.

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The motorcade travels along the section of the CHEO ring road in front of the main entrance at 401 Smyth Road, beginning at Hospital Link Road and ending at Smyth Road. Those heading your way can park for free in parking lot A from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Children and families can also share their memories of Mollypenny through October 31 using an online Kudoboard. Well wishes can also be dropped off in a box at CHEO’s main entrance or mailed to Mollypenny, Child Care, CHEO, 401 Smyth Road, K1H 8L1.

Cull started as an operating room nurse when CHEO opened in 1974. Mollypenny got her start when she retired from the operating room in 2001.

« Mollypenny and Ruth have never been seen in the same room together, » CHEO said. “There is no replacement* for ‘day one’ CHEO team members; they are a big part of why there is a CHEO.

“Ruth and Mollypenny will be greatly missed. »

But Cull, like Mollypenny, says “the great thing about being a clown is that space travel is so much easier than it is for ordinary astronauts.

« That means I might be able to come back to visit CHEO and my Earth friends from time to time. »

Although Mollypenny cannot be replaced, the hospital says it is « actively looking for someone to bring their big shoes to CHEO » and continue their work.

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